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Vogue 8280 Muslin

March 28, 2011

Last summer my cousin got married and the night before attending the ceremony I realized I had nothing to wear. In a momentary fit of insanity, caused by my pitiful wardrobe, I decided to make a dress. But I wanted to be smart about it. I wanted to make a muslin first. And then the dress. In one night.

I’m not always a rational person.

In a frenzy I went through my patterns and found Vogue pattern 8280. I didn’t have anything but a light yellow cotton and a moth-eaten teal lining fabric to use for the muslin. There wasn’t enough fabric to make the version with sleeves, nor was there enough fabric to make it the proper length so I lopped off the bottom and decided that the top was more important to fit properly anyway. Then I sewed into the night. That is, until I got to the zipper.

See, zippers and me — well, we don’t always get along. Somehow my mind can’t seem to comprehend all the details that need to come together to make putting in a zipper as simple as it should be. My fingers can’t ever hold things in place properly. And if I can get a zipper in, it’s likely to not zip. It will usually pucker and pull. So, in my sewing frenzy, I got to the zipper, failed once and then promptly packed everything up and put the dress in my work room. I resigned myself to the fact that I would not have a shiny new dress to wear to the wedding the next day. In fact, not even my muslin would ever again see the light of day. To be placed in my work room is to be forgotten, to become wrinkled and moth-eaten. It is the place where works-in-progress go to die.

Flash forward nearly a year. This weekend I was feeling daring. I told myself that if I ever really want to wear the dresses I dream of, I’m going to have to learn to put in a zipper. And so I trudged into my workroom, sighed and sorted through all my projects I’d forgotten. Finding the long forgotten muslin, I sat down and finally put the zipper in and finished the seams that had been waiting patiently for some attention.

The fit isn’t great. The bust and waist are too loose and the bust darts too severe. The shoulders and sleeves could use some taming as well. The zipper is in, but not cleanly sewn, nor is it invisible as it should be. It only zips to the top with some coaxing.

The results aren’t at all what I’d like, but I have to remember this is just a muslin. It’s made to learn from. And hopefully that’s what I’ll use it for — figure out where needs to be larger or smaller and take the time to adjust the pattern so it’s made to fit me. I suppose posting bad pictures is in some way my attempt at trying to be held accountable for striving for better results in the future. It’s too easy to give up sometimes.

Will you do that for me? Hold me accountable? Maybe you’ll even give me some pointers?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. maryannk permalink
    March 29, 2011 1:37 pm

    Oh, so many things to say… I just want you to know, I’m reading along and LOVING all you’ve been writing of late. I don’t always have time to write a comment, but I’m thinking them! So here’s a quick catch-up.

    I think the zipper looks great. You are way braver than I am. Way braver. I will hold you accountable. 🙂

    So jealous of your getaway with Patti! Must’ve been fab. Were the candies even edible? Candy is super hard. (no pun intended, heehee) Lovin’ the beads as well and hope one day I can explore that little shop, too.

    Definitely making a note to do ALL the recipes – spaghetti, apple pie, challah. Glad you posted your Challah as I was trying to find it the other day. I might get brave, too. 🙂

    OK, better go – Mr. Pontipine lost his moustache. Don’t ask. 🙂

    • Claire permalink
      April 2, 2011 11:02 am

      Thanks, Maryann, for holding me accountable. I knew I could count on you! Also, the candy was fine. It was sweet and flavored. The thing is, I don’t really like hard candy and so the project was pretty much destined to fail from the beginning, I suppose 🙂

      Hope Mr. Pontipine found his mustache!

  2. Sara Inskeep permalink
    May 22, 2011 1:03 pm


    • Claire permalink
      May 25, 2011 9:07 am

      Let me really sell it here — It takes two people to zip up 🙂 But really, thanks, Sara. The pattern is pretty amazing. I might have to try it with the real fabric and real length some day.

  3. Julie permalink
    June 15, 2011 8:36 pm

    You amaze me with all of your talents Miss Claire!!!

    • Claire permalink
      June 16, 2011 9:57 am

      Thanks, Julie. And thanks for reading, too! I really appreciate it.

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